October 30, 2020


Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence Tests Positive for the Coronavirus

From today’s JAMA:Peripheral Oxygen Saturation in Older Persons Wearing Nonmedical Face Masks in Community Settings

(J. Harris: Masks are safe and should be worn.)

1. Why, exactly, are restaurants so risky? First off, they tend to be noisy spaces. People talk loudly, expelling more air than usual—and thus more potentially virus-laden aerosols

2. Then there’s the lack of mask-wearing inside restaurants. Diners tend to take them off, because you can’t eat or drink while wearing one.

3.Inadequate ventilation allows tiny virus particles to hang in the air for long periods of time, just waiting to be breathed in.

4.Virtually every documented case of super-spreading has taken place in a crowded,  noisy, poorly ventilated room—many of them restaurants.


1. Medicare and Medicaid to Cover Early Covid Vaccine (Politico) The Trump administration this week will announce a plan to cover the out-of-pocket costs of Covid-19 vaccines for millions of Americans who receive Medicare or Medicaid, said four people with knowledge of the pending announcement. Under the planned rule, Medicare and Medicaid will now cover vaccines that receive emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, the people said, which is a change from current policy.

2.EPI UPDATE The WHO COVID-19 Dashboard reports 43.5 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1.16 million COVID-19 deaths as of 8:30am EDT on October 28…The US CDC reported 8.68 million total cases, 225,084 total deaths, and 492,026 new cases in the past 7 days. The daily COVID-19 incidence continues to increase, now up to 63,589 new cases per day, compared to 59,699 new cases reported last Wednesday and almost as high as the peak incidence in late July.

3. COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIESColleges and universities across the country have experienced substantial financial and logistical challenges as a result of the pandemic, with some schools eliminating programs, furloughing faculty, and implementing austerity measures. The financial strain preceded the pandemic, but has been exacerbated by reduced enrollment and revenue, paired with substantial expenditures to support expansive testing, contact tracing, and quarantining of students. The American Council on Education published a letter last week stating that the pandemic would cost higher education institutions $120 billion. As part of response efforts, some universities are implementing studies to test wastewater and sewage for COVID-19. Testing wastewater is much cheaper than testing individual students, and implementation is more feasible in a dorm environment. The testing approach cannot identify which individuals are infected with SARS-CoV-2, nor how many infections there are. However, the data can indicate potential trends or the occurrence of an outbreak in a setting.

4. Some Covid Survivors Have Antibodies That Attack the Body, Not Virus (New York Times) Some survivors of Covid-19 carry worrying signs that their immune system has turned on the body, reminiscent of potentially debilitating diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, a new study has found.

5. Why You Shouldn’t Worry About Studies Showing Waning Coronavirus Antibodies(New York TImes) The portion of people in Britain with detectable antibodies to the coronavirus fell by roughly 27 percent over a period of three months this summer, researchers reported Monday, prompting fears that immunity to the virus is short-lived. But several experts said these worries were overblown. It is normal for levels of antibodies to drop after the body clears an infection, but immune cells carry a memory of the virus and can churn out fresh antibodies when needed.(J. Harris: Some of the time)

The Difference Between Feeling Safe and Being Safe
(J. Harris: A good article for non kool-aid drinkers. It’s very readable and compelling.)”People’s dependence on group affiliation for safety and support can be so strong… that it sometimes overrides more logical assessments of fear and safety…People’s dependence on group affiliation for safety and support can be so strong…that it sometimes overrides more logical assessments of fear and safety…the best way to get lots of people to adopt new safety precautions is to be explicit and consistent about what they (precautions) are and why they’re important, and then demonstrate examples of people adhering to them repeatedly over time…the biggest problem we have right now is mixed messages….many people presented with a barrage of contradictory instructions just grow tired and give up. Others become hypervigilant, their behavior calcifying against new information that might let them ease up and enjoy life a little more. Still others simply choose optimism, no matter how dangerously misguided—such as the belief that “herd immunity” is near, or the assumption that catching the virus will have no long-term consequences for them. “People will gravitate to the positive message because it’s convenient, and it’s not scary, it’s not fearful…Americans have no common conception of the pandemic, which means you can’t assume that someone you’ve trusted for years isn’t about to expose you to a deadly disease,…People feel bad about enforcing their boundaries, or they simply grow tired of constant vigilance. Occasionally, they just forget.’


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Sidebar – Questions and Answers

Q: During the past three and a half years, since the sexual assault by Dr. Kelehan, what has been your state of mind? 

A: Reflective. When life slows down, especially when one puts down alcohol and drugs after years of using them as a means of emotional support and “medication”, you’re left with a very raw “you”. 

I have had to concentrate on looking at the harm I’ve done to others as a result of entertaining such an extremely selfish view of life.

 That’s what drugs and alcohol do. They demand you remain selfish in an effort to keep you dependent and willing to do anything to obtain them. But, it must be noted that examining the harm you’ve done to others includes moments that you must also consider the harm that you may have done to yourself. That sort of reflection involves examining the person that I would or could have been without alcohol and drugs. That’s not easy. 

That reflection, in order to be effective, requires me to divorce myself from regret. As I write this, I’m still plagued by this regret. But, I’m told that this will pass.

Q: After the no bill decision by the grand jury in 2018, what kept you going to seek justice?

A: I don’t think I was seeking “justice” after the no-bill. I don’t know if that can be had considering the politics involved. 

I’m not even sure if there is such a thing as justice in this situation. I wrote a letter to the medical board as a cathartic exercise. It was suggested, by a therapist, that I write myself a letter forgiving myself for placing myself in that position. Also, as a “message in a bottle” exercise, 

I was asked to write a letter to a governing body and, after mailing the letter, forget about it. I did forget about it. The medical board didn’t.

Q: When you contacted the Texas Medical Board to file charges, did you think you had a chance of vindication or were you just going through the motions, trying anything to get justice.

A: I had no expectations. And, after the political (situation)in East Texas, I was jaded and carried around the idea that no one would care.

Q: What were your thoughts during the hearing? At the time the board announced its decision?

A: I was relieved to have been given the opportunity to tell my story and have it behind me. I wasn’t too anticipatory concerning the verdict. It was almost a non-issue in my mind. I truly felt better after simply testifying and that’s all I was seeking to begin with.

Q: There will be a followup hearing by the medical board to determine if Dr. Kelehan is permanently suspended from practicing medicine, but the decision to forbid him or any physicians assistants from seeing patients, administering any prescriptions for drugs or do telemedicine consults is pretty crippling for a practicing physician.

Your thoughts?

A: I believe the whole affair is sad. There is no “gain” in this situation. I’ve never said Dr. Kelehan is a bad person or a bad physician.I don’t think there’s anyone on this earth who can say that. 

Conversely, there’s not many people who can say I lived a “good” life. There’s plenty of people that can rightly claim that I was a “bad” person by all the normal standards of society. Even so, I don’t know when I stopped being a “person”, even with the adjectives, and should simply be okay with being drugged and taken advantage of. That never sat right with me. 

In a way, that’s the kind of attitude that contributed to keeping me intoxicated over all those years. I always discounted my worth as a human and accepting that behavior from another human is nothing but an exercise in self loathing.

 I simply needed to talk about what happened and find a way of releasing myself from my past surrounding that time of my life.

Q: Watching your mother Sandy Dunham testify for Dr. Kelehan must have been hard. Thoughts about watching that?

A: I was only disturbed when my mother testified. I knew that was a possibility. In fact, I would have been surprised if they’d not called her as a character witness.

 I was only disturbed because she looked very tired and I knew, once again, I was partly responsible for that. You see, it’s been some years since I’ve seen my mother and not many kind words were passed between us in the prior years.

 I didn’t disagree with anything she said about my prior dishonesty. And, knowing her well, I knew she was fine with relaying all the dirty inter-family secrets that would discredit me. That’s never been a problem for her. 

My problems with addiction and alcohol have always been something that she refused to look at from a logical perspective. Just as she refused to ever review the evidence in this situation, my mother refused to acknowledge alcohol as an issue beyond, “just don’t drink”.

 In 20 years of multiple rehabs and visits to ICU surrounding alcohol, she never once visited me or called me.  

My mother’s take on alcoholism was always an emotional one. And a regurgitation of my past in that hearing was possibly emotionally soothing for her.  My past is low hanging fruit and I really take no offense to it being used. 

I truly hope she felt better afterwards. I certainly owe her any amount of latitude she needs in an effort to “feel” better. 

Q: Any other thoughts?

A: Life is hard. People are strange. Tragedy is the dirt… while joy is the diamond

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Dr. Shaun Bobbi Kelehan of Marshall Practice of Medicine Curtailed

By George S. Smith
Retired Editor and Publisher

Dr. Shaun Bobbi Kelehan of Marshall had his practice of medicine severely curtailed Wednesday, October 28 by the Texas Medical Board following an 11-hour disciplinary hearing. Kelehan was accused of administering drugs to a male patient and then sexually abusing him in March of 2017.

Specifically, according to a release by the board, Kelehan’s “continuation in the unrestricted practice of medicine poses ‘a continuing threat to the public welfare.’”

The board further found Kelehan “engaged in nonconsensual sexual encounters with a patient and administered medications to the patient during these encounters.” The board determined that no “record of treatment” was provided to the patient.

Based on a complaint from Marshall native Steven Trey Wood, which was backed up by video and audio recordings, Marshall Police Department investigation documents and a months-long investigation by Samer Shobassy, board litigation staff attorney, Kelehan was handed an initial harsh punishment. The board decreed:

  • Kelehan could no longer administer medical treatment to male patients;
  • He can not prescribe prescription drugs to male patients.
  • The doctor’s Physician Assistants (PA) at his clinics could not see male patients;
  • Female patients can only be seen at his clinics; and
  • Kelehan cannot provide telemedicine sessions.

Additionally, the board will meet within a few weeks, after an evaluation of medical needs in the communities in which he has clinics to determine whether to permanently suspend his license to practice medicine.

Kelehan is owner of Marshall’s Access Family Health clinic on Alamo Boulevard. He is also listed on the internet as an owner and a physician at a clinic by the same name on Judson Road in Longview, a third clinic on Fifth Street in Tyler and another one on Wells Branch Parkway West in Pflugerville.

He is a 2000 graduate of the University of Texas School of Medicine in Houston. He also is listed as a co-owner of Wellness Properties of America, a property owner and management company that buys and builds commercial buildings.

In mid-2017, charges brought against Kelehan following an investigation by Marshall Police Department’s Det. Rob Farnham . Harrison County District Attorney Coke Solomon, recused himself for the case, citing the fact Kelehan was his personal physician.

A special prosecutor from Longview was appointed and a grand jury was called. The grand jury declined to bring charges, delivering a nolle proseui ruling (will not prosecute). Wood was not called to testify, nor did the grand jury members hear or see the recordings of Kelehan the medical board heard of him admitting the acts.

During the police investigation of the charges, Wood was requested to meet with  Kelehan and make, first, audio recordings, which he did. He was later requested to make video recordings, and secured two videos, with Kelehan admitting the sexual encounter. In one of the recordings, Kelehan admitted a previous sexual encounter, which Wood did not remember taking place.

Wood is a graduate of Marshall High School, a former Maverick football player and a former student at Texas Tech. He is also a former blogger for the Marshall News Messenger, winning two first place awards in state press association contests for his articles.

Wood will be the first to admit that for most of his life, he has gone out of his way to get into trouble. While he said it would be an “easy out” to blame myriad circumstances in his life for “wasting big part of his life,” he blames no one but himself. “I chose to do what I did at the time I did it,” he said. ‘Me. All the misfortunes in my life fall right back on me.”

In addition to trying every addictive substance he could obtain, he spent more than two years in a Texas prison for “robbing a drug dealer.” He makes no excuses for his actions – “Whatever trouble I got into, I deserved it.”

Of the sexual assault, Wood said, “I am an alcoholic who has been clean for almost two years.” A regular at Austin Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, he said, “I know what hitting rock bottom means. But, nothing in my life led me to deal with a situation like this.”

Wood said, “I was betrayed at the hands of a friend. A homosexual encounter … no, apparently two encounters … that I have never thought about on any level, was pushed on me by a person I knew was gay but who also implicitly knew I was not gay. I had derailed previous attempts at ‘gay play.’ When he previously tried to put his hands down my pants, I would tell him to stop, that I didn’t think it was funny. He had always complied.”

In March of 2017, when Wood readily admitted he was at rock-bottom during a breakup of a personal relationship. He went to Kelehan residence in Marshall for help and drugs to deal with the pain, emotional and physical. Kelehan let him stay in his guest house.

Wood said, “He decided to do what he wanted to do to me, to take advantage of my self-destructive condition by lying to me and administering drugs that incapacitated me; the drugs basically paralyzed me.”

After the incident, this writer, a longtime friend drove to Marshall, picked up Wood and took him to his home in Southwest Arkansas almost a week, until a visit to a Texas rehab facility could be arranged.

A surprise witness at the medical board hearing was Sandy Durham of Marshall, Wood’s mother. She testified for the defense. When asked by Shobassy if she had seen the video of Kelehan admitting he had sexually assaulted her son, she said she had not. She was then asked if she did view the video that showed Kelehan admitting the abuse, if Kelehan then told her that he did not commit the act, would she believe her son or Kelehan. She replied she would believe Kelehan.

Shobassy had no further questions for Dunham.

The Texas Medical Board is the state agency mandated to regulate the practice of medicine by Doctors of Medicine (MDs) and Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DOs) in Texas. The Board consists of 12 physician members and seven public members appointed for a six-year term by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. 

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